While 2008 was a forgettable year in real estate, 2009 proved to be a year of hope and optimism here in the Tri Cities. The stimulus money that came into the Hanford area created a boost to the market and additionally, so did the 1st time Homebuyer Tax Credit.
The tax credit really brought more people to the closing table and because there was a deadline of the end of the year, buyers really began to hit the pavement with their searches. The credit has now been extended to April, which should keep the home builders busy and the sales of homes strong through the first half of the year at least.
There was an 11 percent increase in home sales in 2009 and a 6.7 percent jump in new home starts for the year. Pasco led with a 17 percent increase in housing starts, with Kennewick up to 13 percent, Richland saw a drop of about 4 percent, as did West Richland with a drop of 9.2 percent.
Local builders believe that these numbers are a positive sign that the housing market and local economy here in the Tri Cities is good and that the trend will continue into 2010. We believe the Tri Cities will continue to be one of the nation’s leading markets for real estate and a stable economy.